With Hurricane Irma set to hit south Florida late Saturday and (likely) spin up the coast toward Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal has wasted no time in preparing his state for one of the largest storms in recent memory.  After declaring 6 counties to be in a state of emergency on Wednesday, he added an additional 24 to the list Thursday, bringing the total to 30.

As part of his expanded executive order Deal also ordered mandatory evacuations for everything east of I-95 and all of Chatham County, the areas most likely to be affected.  For those forced to evacuate, of whom there are many, (Chatham County alone has a population of nearly 300,000) a list of shelters can be found HERE.

Said Deal in a press release, “The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Irma.  I encourage all Georgians in our coastal areas that could be impacted by this storm to evacuate the area as soon as possible. Beginning Saturday, a mandatory evacuation order will take effect for Chatham County, all areas east of I-95 and some areas west of I-95 that could be impacted by this catastrophic hurricane and storm surge. GEMA/HS continues leading our preparedness efforts as we coordinate with federal, state and local officials to safely evacuate the coastal areas, provide public shelter and minimize the disruption of traffic. Finally, I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in Hurricane Irma’s path.” 

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